I think I must be a much worse person than my husband. (That just feels weird. Worser? Much Worser? Worster? Many much moosen??) Or at least, more gluttonous. Because today, at the preschool, the kids ate chicken nuggets, tater tots, green beans, and oranges. Guess which two of those I was ca-raving?? And then I thought of french fries, bread from panera, and for some strange reason- donuts- all with the utmost longing.
Meanwhile, the husband says he doesn’t even really want any of that now! I’m like, are you for real? Because I could go crazy on some pastries right about now… Especially that chocolate croissant from Panera… But let’s not think about that.
And with the taut, quiet tones of someone trying to talk a crazy person out of jumping off a building, I told myself to calm down. To stop and think- to stop and be thankful. Thankfulness is like the coconut oil of virtues- it’s uses are seemingly endless! And it worked, sort of. (I know this shocks you, but in spite of how often I write about thankfulness, abundance, and Ann Voskamp, my skills of living gratitud-inally often remain mediocre at best.)
Mostly I just had to tell myself to wait until nap time- aka coffee time– when I would get to eat one of these delish No-Bake Power Bites (which deserve a much saucier name- “Power Bites” makes me think you took protein powder, got it wet, rolled it into balls, and attempted to serve it as a cake pop or something). Sure enough, friends, it was decidedly yummy. And the cravings subsided (mostly).
But I have to frequently remind myself that the whole eat-whatever-we-want thing was the old way of doing things. That there is a reason why we take these steps to change our bad habits. And not just for the general reasons of feeling better and living long lives. We long for a greater abundance than just physical health- one that reaches that place where physical and spiritual meet. We empty the space in our kitchen of the junk so we can fill it with good things. We’re training the daily hunger to submit, so that we can learn to taste a greater hunger- an awareness of what our souls long for. Those hungers- both the temporal craving for food and the eternal longing for more- will not find themselves satisfied with anything less than glory- with the weight of His glory.
Somehow, we are made to bear it. All at once, it’s a monstrous, heavy thing and yet- paradoxically- light. I see it in my life; those things which seem to gratify instantly and promise ease and convenience only reward me with confusion and chaos. Does it seem heavy-handed to jump from afternoon cravings into the soul cravings? Maybe.
But maybe it shouldn’t be. Especially with Valentine’s Day approaching- that sometimes dreaded, sometimes delighted in day of love (remember last year, friends? and my elation over that fabulous $3 Banner from Target??).
I know it can be a hard day for some, though I’m looking forward to it with increasing excitement (in spite of the unexciting lack of sugar in-take it promises for us this year). But isn’t it really wonderful to have an opportunity to share love with someone? Even and especially if it’s not romantic love! How many of us know the feeling of an empty heart? Or one that has only dregs left to give?
Maybe it’s a chance for us all to be brave, stave off our own cravings to fill up someone else with love. And pretty please (I ask myself), can we silence our own internal eye-rolling and try not to treat love as the greeting card companies sometimes paint it? As a maudlin, faulty feeling or merely a marketable commodity?
Love is fierce. Love is unafraid to give itself. It isn’t concerned with ulterior motives. Love gives and gives when everything else runs out, runs down, or runs away. Love fights like an indomitable warrior. Love wins battles. Love conquers all.
And if it does all those things, maybe this Day of Love can be something much greater than the commercialized, shrink-wrapped, mass-produced knock-off Love we’ve been sold before. Maybe it can be about the One who is love.
This week, I’m working on letting the hunger pangs prompt me to pray- to ask God to help me hunger for Him, to fill me up with something better. I want to clear out and clear up the fear that so often fogs my vision. May God’s love fill the empty heart!
There are two little love printables here in this post- they are free! Just click on them and they’ll come up in a new tab (they’ll be much bigger, obvs), and print them off on cardstock (this is seriously like, 1.75 or something at Kinko’s) and frame, pin, or give your own small banner of love this week!
Happy Valentine’s Day!